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The Red Flame for Freedom

By Audri Scott Williams

The Red Flame for Freedom is a movement to awaken us, awaken us to the realization that modern slavery (four pillars of modern slavery: sex trafficking; labor trafficking; mass incarceration and children in poverty) exists, and is alive in our communities across America and around the world. It is a movement to awaken each of us to truths that cannot shift until we shift … will never be seen until our eyes are open. It is our intention to raise awareness through information, education and engagement of communities across the country to end Modern Slavery, to tap into our evolutionary potential to end the trafficking of human beings for financial and political gain.

It is often my experience that a conversation around issues related to modern slavery are so deep in our painful historical memories (from the violence of slavery and racism … to the violence against women and children) immersed in unresolved emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, aggression, shame and blame. The emotions and genetic memories are so unfathomable that they reside in the shadows, the dark places of our consciousness, and in fear of releasing them, we conclude that things are better left in the “nameless” dark.

There are 14.7 million poor children in our nation. This exceeds the populations of 12 U.S. states combined: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming and is greater than the combined populations of the countries of Sweden and Costa Rica. Our nearly 6.5 million extremely poor children (living below half the poverty line) exceeds the combined populations of Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming and is greater than the populations of Denmark or Finland.

*Source: click here.

But these dark places have a tendency to hold us hostage in actions that are repetitive and fear based. They lead us deeper into painful experiences of aggression.

"Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today -- perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system -- in prison, on probation, or on parole -- than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under 'correctional supervision' in America -- more than six million -- than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height." -- Adam Gopnik, "The Caging of America"

When we push the boundaries of our comfort, things around us begin to come forward -- the very things we hid in the shadows. We become paralyzed by our sense of helplessness, fear, guilt and shame. We disassociate from the truth that stands before us to make sometimes conscious, but mostly unconscious, choices to stay in safe spaces – that really are not safe at all.

A $32 billion annual industry, modern day trafficking is a type of slavery that involves the transport or trade of people for the purpose of work. According to the U.N., about 2.5 million people around the world are ensnared in the web of human trafficking at any given time. Human trafficking impacts people of all backgrounds, and people are trafficked for a variety of purposes. Men are often trafficked into hard labor jobs, while children are trafficked into labor positions in textile, agriculture and fishing industries. Women and girls are typically trafficked into the commercial sex industry, i.e. prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation.

*Source: click here

Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is our capacity to change…To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination …”

Engaging the creative imagination awakens our evolutionary potential. What do we do when we come face to face with our own evolutionary potential? We begin to do what we are here to do, unencumbered by any sense of impossibility. We become one with the timeless self and the Source energy (called by many names) that is CREATION itself. We step out of the “I” and into the” I AM”.

This is the point at which we burst through the membrane of self-doubt, fear and aggression and into the incredible opportunity to change and to shift, to recreate and reinvent ourselves, to tap into our evolutionary potential to not only change ourselves -- to change the world!!

For us to embrace the unlimited potential that we are, we must take a step beyond the prevailing norms -- our reference no longer being the “self” but something bigger and finite at the same time. The “something bigger” refers to an awareness that we are connected to everything and that everything serves everything else in an ever flowing sea of CREATION – everything experiencing itself, beyond time and space, where diversity is poetry, art, dance, music – pure Grace. “Finite” in the sense that, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The end is the creation of the beloved community in the here and now.” -- Timeless potential experienced in the here and now.

It is in this state of awareness that clarity presents itself through the simple truths, through a greater love and power that points the way to what we are capable. It is the choices we make from this state of awareness that connects us to the evolutionary pulse of CREATION. It is what sets us on the path to freedom where we become the change that makes the “WHOLE” well.

On April 22, 2016, the World Peace Walkers and Partners in The Red Flame for Freedom movement take to the streets in communities throughout the United States to raise awareness about the proliferation of modern day slavery experienced through sex trafficking, human trafficking, mass incarceration, and children in poverty.

I am often asked what makes you think you can affect something that is so deeply rooted in the economies of exploitation in our country and the world? My answer is simple, “It is what we are here to do, not because we have the answers but because we have the passion for freedom for all – for the “WHOLE”. Maya Angelou says, A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song (from her book of poems, “A Cup of Sun,” published in 1967. P15). “

The Red Flame for Freedom is the song that calls freedom and justice forward. We are not walking this path because we have all the answers. We are walking this path because our heart song is moving us to the most powerful understanding, one that sings of extraordinary love in action, “None of us are free until all of us are free.” Our freedom is alive in the mind of our Good, our Source, and therefore accessible to us when we step out of the illusion of bondage that creates the experience of modern slavery and into the illumination of freedom.

The illusion of bondage exists before the evidence of bondage or the actual experience of bondage. The illusion of bondage has its roots in the greatest illusion of all – we are separate, that we can exist and be whole as separate individuals. Protecting what supports this “separateness” necessarily feeds a thirst for power and control to support this “illusion”. It requires a continual cycle of fear and aggression to force as many of the “other,” as possible, into bondage – only to discover that power and control cannot sustain the test of time. Why? Because the soul of a person has in it a Divine “spark” of the TRUTH that sooner or later illuminates the darkness and unveils the truth, “We are One.”

Once revealed in us, we know we are free and the only way to sustain this freedom is to ensure the freedom of all. When enough of humanity comes into this state of awareness and aligns its actions with this truth … shift happens.

When we have the courage to align with our truth, we become powerful in our vision and in our capacity to affect change. A famous quote by Audre Lorde says it best, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

The Red Flame of Freedom is a movement to raise the awareness of our evolutionary potential to affect a loving and compassionate world, a world that inspires the evolutionary pulse in each of us to create, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “…the Beloved Community in the here and now.”

We are grateful to have The Shift Network/The Catalyst to be a media partner for The Red Flame for Freedom.

Please join us in a city near you!

Schedule From April 22 through September 25, 2016 - Cities & Dates:

Atlanta, GA - April 22 - 24 • Tampa, FL - May 6 - 8 • New Orleans, LA - May 20 - 22 • Houston, TX - May 27- 29 • Phoenix, AZ - June 10 - 12 • Las Vegas, NV - June 17 - 19 • Los Angeles, CA - June 24 - 26 • San Francisco/Oakland, CA - July 1 - 3 • Denver, CO - July 15 - 17 • Chicago, IL - July 29 - 31 • New York, NY -August 12 - 14 • Philadelphia, PA - August 19 - 21 • Baltimore, MD - August 26 - 28 • Washington, DC -September 2 - 4 • Charlotte, NC - September 16 - 18 • Atlanta, GA - September 23 - 25

Community members from each of the chosen cities for the Red Flame for Freedom Movement are invited to participate in “Art Coopetitions” wherein groups and families can collaborate to create artistic depictions of either or all of the 4 pillars of modern day slavery. Participants will be featured on the Red Flame for Freedom website, Facebook page and be invited to showcase their presentation during the Saturday Art in the Garden portion of the 3-day events. Registration will open on the website on March 10th, 2016. Due to limited space, only 10 art pieces will be chosen to present during the Saturday events. Entrants will be notified by April 18th.

 


For more information contact Audri Scott Williams at freedomwalks@gmail.com. Visit our website - click here.

* The Red Flame for Freedom aligns with organizations at the local, state, national and international levels who continue to light the path to freedom.

Audri Scott Williams, author, celebrates her new release, Awakening the Heart of the Beloved Community. Audri was the Vision Keeper who led the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk over 6 continents (2005-2009), and the 13 Moon Walk 4 Peaceacross America to over 50 communities (2010-2011). She has received numerous awards for her service to humanity. Awards include: the Presidential Certificate of Merit (President Bill Clinton), HBO Hearing Her Voice, Telling Her Story Award; Volvo for Life American Heroes Award; and the 2008 URI Bowes Award to the Trail of Dreams Team (awarded in India). She holds a Masters in Liberal Arts from Naropa University/Creation Spirituality in Indigenous Science, a BA in Criminology from the University of Tampa, with post graduate studies at Harvard University, University of Maryland, and American University.

She served as the Interim Global Indigenous Coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (2013-2014) and co-convener of the historic Hidden Seeds Global Indigenous Gathering in Northern California (2014). She was an Apprentice with the WorldWide Indigenous Science Network where she escorted and documented indigenous wisdom keepers around the world; a former Dean of Instruction at the Institute of Divine Wisdom in Atlanta, Ga.; and Dean of Continuing Education and Community Service at Charles County Community College. She currently serves as a Global Trustee on the United Religions Initiative Global Council and is CEO of NOWTIME Media. She has authored several books and produced documentaries about her journeys.

 

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This article appears in: 2016 Catalyst, Issue 7: Earth Day, Climate Change & Global Healing